tv Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony for Monuments Men CSPAN November 26, 2015 9:15pm-9:51pm EST
thank you so much. , chairman of the , youents men foundation have done such a large part in present art and we are honored by your presence. in march 1940 one, president roosevelt dedicated the national gallery of art just down the mall from here. britainwd gathered, [inaudible] with the war, as president
roosevelt opened a new home for the world's masterworks, president roosevelt spoke about what the mission was. he said this. whatever these paintings may , generationsough back, today they are the symbols of the human spirit. saw in the film, these are the ideas which the war was thought. fraudyou, and eisenhower ring us with your presence today, as well. anne eisenhower for honoring us with your presence today, as well.
across the world set ablaze by destruction, against the last thrashers of nazi nihilism, preserved the treasures of humanity. that was the charge. operating with few sources and little authority, the monuments -- as just a handful of men and women, never more than a few hundred, fought to rescue themacts and protect through the fire of military advance. some gave their lives in the effort. war wouldthem, the not also destroy the creativity that can access to the heritage
of civilization. their peers of years and detective work -- their perseverance and detective work returned artifacts to their rightful owners. force for -- is imagination. it is imagination that sums up creativity and art and our common humanity finds a home. we see what we have in common. we understand other people's thinking. this was not just about the object, it was about the creativity and imagination which is a force for good. with the last living monuments men among us, and women, we are in the presence of greatness. thank you for your greatness of courage and commitment.
welcome, ambassadors. today, the art of the nsa a nfaans -- the nsa a t --he return -- the nfaa returns. the creativity of the men and women who are honored with this ceremony today. congratulations, and thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the united states senate, the honorable harry reid. sen. reid: nothing is sacred to the aggressors.
as troops rolled across the globe, millions of innocent andle and entire countries cultures fell victim to the war machine. history itself was threatened by adolf hitler and his accomplishments. plundered -- museums were plundered. heirlooms were lost forever. a battle against culture and history is being waged today. isis destroys vestiges of ancient civilizations. patra was constructed during alexander the great's reign 300 years before christ.
used large quantities of it.osives to destroy they'd then publicly executed a they then publicly executed a professor. in afghanistan, the taliban has destroyed giant sandstone statues of buddha that were 1700 years old. in timbuktu, terrorists said fired to a library containing thousands and thousands of manuscripts. a small piece of humanity is lost for a charity. -- is lost for each other in the.
-- is lost for eternity. what started as a handful of , 400 servicemen and , in the midst of the world's largest more, it was an honor for me to meet each of you individually. of those who are no longer with us, you should be very proud. it is not enough to recognize because wets men have to work not to preserve what isis has not destroyed. courage.mulate their thank you very much. [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen, the majority leader of the honorable mitch mcconnell. sen. mcconnell: a few years louisville' art museum unveileds an exhibit entitled kentucky home, colonial revival houses. his first house as a teenager, hammond went on to become one of the most popular architects of the last century. his homes are still on the streets of louisville today.
i am pleased to report that he --also a fellow graduate of high school. he set the bar high for those of us who followed. hammond joined the army during world war ii. he participated in the normandy invasion in 1944. thanks to his background in art and architecture, he settled into the palace of versailles as monument officer at general eisenhower's headquarters. ian is one of the hundreds of monuments men we honor today. these men and women came from different countries. they hailed from vastly different backgrounds. but they share a common mission. to defend colonnades of
civilization through crucibles of war. one man fled nazi germany one day after his bat mitzvah -- bar mitzvah. london-raised, and became in our detective who helped recover priceless --. in westernicagoan germany. , thee pacific theater american-born typist who generated field reports from monuments men in tokyo. these four men and women came from different circumstances. they each contributed in their own way. all advanced a nation that could have easily been overlooked.
all of these people are with us today. [applause] after their service, many of the monuments men blend it back into , for instanceists or curators. hammond returned to his architectural firm in kentucky. it is worth mentioning that his firm specialized in the effects of explosives on structural integrity. the service of the monuments men often went unheralded even though it had changed them. we all the men and women who served a real debt of gratitude. service, we may
have lost our common heritage. todayld-medal we present is our country's way of saying that your service should not only be recognized, the celebrated. sayingur nation's way of , thank you. [applause] , thedies and gentlemen honorable john boehner. speaker boehner: in a few moments, we will have the presentation of the gold medals. this is the last time i will have this privilege. it has been quite a privilege.
the first person to be awarded a congressional gold medal was general george washington in 1776. as you can imagine, things got busy after that. it took 14 years for washington to actually get it. over that time, for different people were in charge of the project, including thomas jefferson who kept detailed notes on how they should be executed it he found a way to pay for it and had the work done in france. he then personally delivered the gold-medal to washington in new york along with a box of gold medals for his men. presentationin of -- preservation which today's honorees can appreciate. by the time our founders follow
through on this and some other things, we have this great tradition that is older than the country itself. merely aen america was radical idea that anyone could contribute to the common good. we're honoring a group of people who acted on their own courage, reclaimed the world's most valuable treasures. the reattached the tendons to the bone of civilization's identity. , we get togentlemen tell the stories. we get to toast our heroes. fall in love with freedom all over again.
the destruction of art and culture. a relatively tiny international group of men and women led by the u.s. and the u.k. embarked on implementing this new policy. the mission was dangerous. to monuments men were killed in combat to protect works of art. a small group discovered that there was nothing left then the greatest blunder ever
policies of western allies made clear that these do not belong to the spoils of war. openly reinstate this policy. let us openly promote the concept. remindagain and again people of the world that their culture will be cherished as long as they respect the culture . god bless you. god bless america. [applause]
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happen to us. the future is something that we make. that there is a good possibility that some time in the next 20 years, we will have a woman president. announcer: hillary clinton experienced many firsts. she and bill clinton have been political partners since law school page she has endured several scandals, including his impeachment. her story is still being written. hillary clinton this sunday night at 8:00 eastern. from martha washington to michelle obama, sunday at 8:00 eastern on american history tv on c-span3. has the bestspan
access to congress with live coverage of the house on and c-span on c-span2. -- watch our conversations with six freshmen members of congress. desaulnier, mark walker, , set the molten -- .eth molton your best access to congress is on c-span. announcer: british prime minister david cameron addressed the house of commons on thursday that his plan to construct airstrikes. he took questions from members of parliament about several issues.
this is an hour and a half portion of the event. the committee asked a series of importance questions here it i try to listen carefully to the questions and views expressed by members on all sides of the house. i want to answer all of the relevant questions today. there are different ways but they boiled down to this. why us? why now? is what we are contemplating
legal? what is the strategy that brings together everything we are doing, particularly in syria? is there an end to this conflict ? is there a plan for what follows ? the media with each of these questions as directly as i can. mr. speaker, the reason for acting is the direct threat that isil poses to our country. isil have attacked ankara, beirut, and paris. as well as blowing up a russian plane. they have taken the lives of british hostages and inspire the worst terrorist attack against britain. they have repeatedly tried to attack us here in britain. in the last 12 months, our security services have disrupted no fewer than seven terrorist plots to attack the u.k.
everyone of which was linked to isolate or inspired by their propaganda. i am in no doubt that it is in our interest for action to be taken to stop them and stopping them means taking action in syria because it is raqqa that are their headquarters. why us? my first responsibility and our first job in this house is to keep the british people safe. we have the assets to do that significantly extended the capabilities of the international coalition forces. that is one reason why members of the international coalition including president obama and -- president a lot of have medically that they want printer stand with them. are our closest allies and they want our help. partly, this is about our capabilities. the raf can carry out what is
called dynamic targeting. our pilots construct the most difficult targets at rapid pace and with extraordinary precision and provide a vital support to forces on the ground. missilethe brimstone system which enables us to strike accurately, something that even the americans do not have. aircraft has no rival, currently gathering 60% of the entire tactical reconnaissance in aegon love being a crypt for strikes. our drugs are providing up to 30% of the intelligence in syria but are not currently able to use their high precision missile systems.
the most important answer to the question is even more fundamental. we should not be content with outsourcing our security to our allies. if we believe that actions can protect us, we should be part of that action, not standing aside from it. point comes al fundamental question, if we will not act now, when our ally france has been struck, then our allies in the world can be forgiven for asking, if not now, when? that leads to the next question. the first answer to that is because of the grave danger that isil poses a security, a danger that has intensified. there are additional reasons why action is important. look at what has changed, not just in paris, but the world agreeing that a u.n. reservation
. there is a real political process underway. this could lead to a new government in syria with whom we can work to defeat isil. as i explained yesterday, we cannot wait for that to be complete before we begin acting to degrade isil. let's be clear about the military objectives we are pursuing. terroristsdefeat the by dismantling networks, stopping funding, targeting outning camps, and taking attacks against the u.k., but there is a broader objective. as long as isil can pedal the myth of a caliphate in iraq in syria, it will be a rallying call for extremists around the world and that makes us less safe. just as we reduce the scale and size of the so-called